When the current roster for Immortals was first made, it wasn't exactly a gathering of the "best" players.
Flame, a player that failed to shine while on his previous team, 'Longzhu Gaming'; Xmithie, a player who had to change teams mid-season; Pobelter, a player who was always overshadowed and seen as a top10 midlaner; Cody Sun, a player that fans saw as an ADC who was inconsistent... And Olleh, a player who faced many difficulties before arriving in NA.
These players got together under the IMT organization, and as if they were simply waiting for the last piece of the puzzle, the addition of Ssong made the team into a far stronger one and made results that no one expected.
Being placed 2nd in the 2017 NA LCS Summer Split, Immortals have qualified for the World Championship for the very first time. And as a team, in preparation for upcoming Worlds, they had come to Korea to boot camp. We at Inven Global found and met the players to hear from them before their departure to China. (We also brought some high-tech gear.)
So let's see what these players had to say, shall we?
Q. First of all, congratulations for qualifying for Worlds! Please give a brief introduction for your fans in Korea as well as the ones back home!
Flame: Hi, I'm the toplaner for Immortals, Flame. I'm very happy that our team was able to qualify for Worlds this year.
Xmithie: I'm Jake Puchero, and I'm the jungler for Immortals. I'm very excited for being qualified for Worlds and being able to boot camp in Korea.
Pobelter: Hello, I'm Eugene "Pobelter" Park, and I'm really excited about playing for Worlds and being in Korea right now.
Cody Sun: Hello, I'm Cody Sun - first time at Worlds, and it's pretty cool.
Olleh: Hi, I'm Olleh. Many people in Korea actually don't know that I'm Korean... so I hope to change that this year. (Laughs)
Ssong: Hi, I'm the coach for Immortals, Ssong. This was my very first foreign team, and I'm very happy that I was able to bring them to Worlds. I will do my best to make good results during the tournament.
Q. This is the very first time that Immortals have qualified for Worlds - and you guys are the ones that made it happen. So in a way, you guys are the legendary members of Immortals. Do you guys agree?
Pobelter: I don't feel very legendary.
Q. When this roster first got together, have you guys ever thought of the possibility that Immortals would make it to Worlds with this roster?
Olleh: I think Pobelter has to answer that question because he played last year too.
Pobelter: Uhm... We just practiced really hard and that's how we made it. (Laughs)
Xmithie: When I first joined the team and was interviewed by Noah and Nick, I told them that my goal for the Summer Split was to do well at Worlds. So yes, I was expecting to go to Worlds.
Ssong: Oh wow... Xmithie... amazing... (Laughs) I've been to every World Championships. So I was fully confident in qualifying for it this year as well. I guess in a way, Xmithie and I made it happen.
Cody Sun: I thought we were going to move up about two spaces [in the LCS standings] and that was about it... Ssong then told us that he always made it to Worlds, so I was like: "Okay, I think we can make it."
Flame: When I first arrived in NA during the Spring, I was filled with confidence. But as time passed, I started underperforming. But during the Summer, I started playing better, which in turn, helped me recover my confidence.
Olleh: At first, I received tons of flak from the coach. So my goal was to perform well enough that the rebuking would stop. I think I made it. (Laughs)
Q. Which member of the team do you think made the biggest impact for you guys to get here? You can also pick yourself.
Olleh: Let's all point fingers at the same time towards that person - One, two... three!
- Why did you guys pick Ssong?
Cody Sun: Coach of the Split - he's an outstanding coach.
Flame: The team was very disorderly before the coach arrived - both inside and outside of the game. The players used to give feedbacks to each other in place of the coach, but more often than not, the feedbacks turned into blame games. When coach Ssong arrived, he gave us precise feedback, and the players no longer got upset with one another.
Pobelter: I agree with what Flame said.
Ssong: In my personal opinion, I think everyone [the IMT players] was already very motivated when I first arrived. They were also very angry at their Spring results, so everyone had the same goal - to get better - and it gave us the motivation and the drive necessary to go further. Eventually, our synergy grew solid over time and everyone played their respective parts perfectly. Everyone in the team made this happen, not just one person.
Cody Sun: I was going to point at Xmithie at first, but everyone was pointing at coach Ssong, so I just followed the trend... (Laughs) Xmithie is just a... really good leader that we needed. We didn't have a direction to follow during the previous Split, so we needed someone like him during our games.
The players of IMT have always been bright - always getting along with each other. So instead of going through the interview in a "usual" way, we decided to try things differently. It was time to see how honest the players have been with each other, beginning with a simple 'OX Quiz'.
- We will now begin the 'OX Quiz'. If you agree with the statement, raise the 'O', and if you disagree, raise the 'X'. Can we please have Flame stand aside for a moment?
Q. First question: "To be honest, I always thought that I was better looking than Flame."
- Flame, who do you think raised the 'O'?
Flame: Hmm... Pobelter.
Flame: (Turns around) I knew it!
Olleh: Pobelter's face is quite charming in NA.
Q. Second question on Flame: "I've seen Flame passionately contacting girls over the phone."
- Flame, who do you think raised the 'O'?
Flame: Hmm... Olleh?
- Why do you think that?
Flame: Olleh and I have actually talked quite often on the subject of 'girls'... And it's true that I have talked with a couple of female friends over the phone. When Cody sees me doing it, he says, "Oh wow! he's talking with a girl again!" Xmithie sits right next to me, so he knows as well.
- Actually, everyone except Pobelter said yes. Even the coach raised the 'O'.
Olleh: Flame's voice kind of echoes throughout the whole house whenever he talks with a girl on the phone...
Flame: They're all just friends! (Laughs)
Q. Xmithie, you're next! The question is: "Sometimes, we face difficulties during games because of our jungler."
- Xmithie, who do you think raised the 'O'?
Xmithie: Hmm... everyone?
- Quite the opposite actually... no one did.
Xmithie: They're lying. (Laughs)
- When you're in-game, and things aren't going too well, does the team blame you from time to time?
Xmithie: Not in-game.
Pobelter: We all know that he won't gank our lanes if we do! (Laughs)
Q. Second question on Xmithie: "I really want Xmithie to gank my lane, but I think he prefers ganking other lanes."
- Xmithie, who do you think raised the 'O'?
Xmithie: Everyone thinks I don't gank their lane enough... (Laughs) Maybe except for Olleh. And if I was to pick a lane that I personally think I don't gank enough, it would be midlane.
- It's actually the botlane that gave the 'O'.
Olleh: To be honest, I raised the 'O' only because Cody did.
Xmithie: What? Everyone in the team complains that I gank botlane too much...
Cody Sun: I raised the 'O' because Olleh did. I just followed him.
Olleh: Ok, you know what, let's just all agree that Xmithie ganks for everyone equally the same.
Q. The next question is on Pobelter. "Even if I had the opportunity to have Faker as our midlaner, I will still choose Pobelter over him."
- Pobelter, Who do you think raised the 'O'?
Pobelter: Everyone picked me... right?
- You're correct! Why did you think that?
Pobelter: Yeah guys, why?
- Xmithie, why did it take you so long to decide?
Xmithie: I was thinking of the pros and cons.
- So your choice is completely legitimate and is purely skill-based, right? Not based on friendship.
Xmithie: I wasn't even thinking about friendship... also, Eugene can play the violin. (Laughs)
- How about everyone else?
Flame: Pobelter is actually better than Faker.
Cody Sun: Eugene always roams bottom.
Ssong: I believe in Pobelter.
Cody Sun: Let's meet SKT so we can prove it --
Ssong: I don't wanna!
Ssong: I don't wanna meet SKT! At least not yet. If we do meet them, I want to meet them in the Finals.
Q. Next question is on Cody Sun: "I found Cody's Summoner name, 'Cody Sun', very odd at first."
- First of all, Cody, why did you name your IGN 'Cody Sun'?
Cody Sun: It's because I didn't like my previous ID. I kept on using 'Cody Sun' in solo queue, so I decided to just stick with it.
- Olleh was actually the only one that raised the 'O'.
Olleh: I mean... it's not really odd. You know, most ADCs have a short and imposing name, like Bang, Deft, and PraY. Cody Sun, in comparison, kind of sounds kindergarten. If the other ADCs' IGN sound like savage beasts, Cody's IGN sounds more like a giraffe or a tamed horse. (Laughs)
Q. You're next Olleh. The question is: "I think Olleh is the best support player in NA."
Olleh: For some reason, I think Flame is the only one that raised the 'X'.
Olleh: He actually has a very bad first impression of me. Flame always tells me, "The first impression is the most important; it'll last a long time." Back then, I had some relationship issues with my ex-girlfriend, so I couldn't practice as much as everyone else. Flame was very upset about that... but thankfully, I don't have that problem anymore!
- Turn around and take a look!
Olleh: Dead on.
- To those who think Olleh is the best support in NA, why do you think so?
Cody Sun: I think it's because Olleh is very good at roaming. He's also great at transitioning his lead from lane to impacting the whole map.
Pobelter: He has no fear. He's crazy.
Ssong: He's number one! Olleh tries really hard to try and improve himself. He's a great player.
- Xmithie, the support-jungler synergy is very important during games. Are you well coordinated with Olleh?
Xmithie: Yeah. He's honestly the best support I have ever played with. He's also the best 'Bard' that I have ever played with. (Laughs)
Q. Now on coach Ssong. Be honest - "I'm scared of our coach."
Ssong: I'm pretty sure that everyone will raise 'X'.
- Then turn around and see for yourself!
Ssong: Cody, Olleh, and Xmithie... Why?
Cody Sun: I think it makes him a good coach.
Pobelter: He wants to know "why" you're scared of him.
Cody Sun: Hmm... because he has a really good reputation as a coach in Korea. He also has a lot of in-game knowledge.
Pobelter: That's why you're scared...?
Olleh: I think outside of the game, he's really nice, so I'm not really afraid of him in that regard. But inside the game... is a bit different. And personally, I think pro players need to be scared of their coach. Otherwise, when a player has a problem, he won't try to solve it.
Ssong: Good answer. You're a good player. Number one mentality.
Xmithie: Coach Ssong is much more confrontational than any other coach that I've been with. And I'm not used to that - but I still think that's good because I agree with Olleh. You need to 'respect/be scared' of your coach so that you actually listen to him.
Q. The following question will be for everyone: "If possible, I want to end my career in Immortals."
Ssong: I believe in Noah!
Xmithie: I love Noah!
Q. Now be confident: "I'm the best player for my position in NA."
- For those who raised 'X', who do you think is better than you?
Cody Sun: Doublelift.
Xmithie: It's different for every game. It depends on which jungler shows up that day.
Olleh: I think at some point, I'm better than the other supports. But in other aspects, like teamfighting or shotcalling, I can't say that I'm better than the others. So I can't say I'm the best.
Q. "At least once in my career, I felt jealous of the TSM chant."
Pobelter: I'm jealous of TSM...!
Q. "We'll definitely make it out of groups during Worlds."
Q. "We'll make it to Quarterfinals."
Q. "I think we'll qualify for the Finals."
Q. "We'll win the whole thing!"
The players of IMT have lived under the same roof for quite some time. But have they been 100% honest with each other? It was time for a moment of truth, so we decided to take a step further. It was time to utilize our high-tech machine that costs whopping 30 dollars! It accurately detects lies!
- Everyone, this is a very innovative and 100% accurate lie detecting machine. The moment you lie, you will be zapped with electricity. There will be a question for each player.
Q. 'Truth or Lie' for Olleh: "You have great synergy with Cody Sun. Therefore, you are willing to marry Cody if he became a pretty girl."
Olleh: NO! NO! I'll put everything on the line. NO!
Olleh: AUGHH! What is this? I don't want to marry him no matter what!
- He's kind of pretty, isn't he?
Q. 'Truth or Lie' for Cody Sun: "I'm willing to marry Olleh if he became a girl."
Cody Sun: No. Just no.
Everyone except Olleh: (Laughs)
Ssong: One-sided love~
Olleh: Oh come on!
Q. 'Truth or Lie' for Xmithie: "My teammates follow my shot calls accordingly."
Xmithie: They don't listen to me.
Q. 'Truth or Lie' for Pobelter: "I'm both confident and 100% sure that I could take down Faker in lane."
Pobelter: ...100%? Uh... no.
- For Flame, let's take a question from one of you guys.
Team Manager, Dodo: 'Truth or Lie' for Flame: "You've gone on a date with a girl within the small amount of time that you've been in Korea."
Q. 'Truth or Lie' for Ssong: "What kind of results must the team make [at Worlds] in order for you to be satisfied?"
Ssong: It's because I was holding back. We need to make it to the Finals!
After the short but fun and light-hearted interview, the players returned to their practice room.
As if Spring Split had never existed in the first place, these players jumped up in performance during the Summer, only to qualify for the League's biggest tournament, the World Championship, at a rather quick pace. As we started to pack our things in preparation to leave, we received a special request from a player that was not satisfied with the interview.
Olleh: I feel like I've been falsely accused! Can I please try it one more time?
- Okay. Let's try something that you know is 100% true.
Olleh: Okay, sure! Hmm... I like women!
A managing editor who can do more things than you think.